Do We Really Love Our Kids?

I voted for Marco Rubio, but it was basically a vote against a horrible Democrat.  Now the junior senator from Florida has re-affirmed what I thought in the beginning: Liddle Marco is no leader.

When Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people at a South Florida high school, Senator Rubio declared, "If someone's decided, 'I'm going to commit this crime,' they'll find a way to get the gun to do it."  In other words, forget about stopping the bad guy.  The jig is up.  The fix is in.  Buy stock in casket-makers.  There will be blood in the hallways, and there isn't anything we can do about it.  But don't try to ban guns, because that won't work.

We can do better.  Senator Rubio is simply wrong. There are people who are totally determined to kill schoolkids, and we can defeat them, if we are willing to listen to the people who have learned how.

In 1974, Israel endured the Ma'alot Massacre at the hands of Islamic terrorists.  Twenty-five were killed and 68 more injured.  Since then, the Israelis have completely changed how they tackle school safety.  Since 1974, there have been two successful attacks, with fewer than ten dead.  In both cases, the bad guys were killed by armed teachers.  That's still too many dead, but it's fewer than we lost in Florida just this week.

Israel implemented a careful strategy of "Defense in Depth."  This is a military concept, and it's why we lost so many men taking Okinawa and Iwo Jima.  There the Japanese set up a whole lot of layers that we had to fight through.  Every added layer makes the problem worse for an attacker.  More layers equals more safety for the defender.

The outside layer of this onion is careful police work.  Every time a hint of pending trouble is identified, it is carefully investigated.  Israel's police agencies don't turn away information the way our FBI did.  This works not only for school safety.  Israel's national airline, El Al, has had decades without a terrorist incident, largely due to careful police work.  But this can't stop every attack.  And we don't expect it to.

Next comes the classic "See something?  Say something!" slogan.  Surprise!  It actually works.  A grandmother in Everett, Washington foiled a plot by her grandson the day before the Parkland massacre when the Snohomish County sheriff listened to her.  Multiple threats in New England were shut down the day after the Parkland shooting.  We just don't hear about many of these because nobody dies when a crime is prevented.

In the virtual reality ecosystem defined by social media, there are many, many opportunities to identify likely bad actors.  We don't often learn of how a specific tweet or Facebook post led to apprehension of a potential shooter, but it happens.  This third layer saves lives, and we haven't even gotten to the schoolyard.

Consider this.  If we knock off a few threats with protective layers away from the schoolyard, there aren't as many to deal with at the school.  That's where the next layer works.

Schools have been the softest of soft targets.  Most have multiple entry points that are guarded only by a door.  Most of those doors open to anyone.  Israel realized that this is an untenable situation.  Entry to schools in Israel is now limited, and there are armed guards at every entryway.  These guards are trained to look for suspicious signs and have largely prevented bad guys from getting in.  Their mere presence is enough to stop all but the most determined attackers.

By now we have at least four layers of protection, any one of which may be enough to protect our children from bad guys with guns.  All of these are preventive.  Now we move beyond prevention into active protection.  What do we do if a bad guy with a gun gets inside the school?

Let's remember one key fact.  The rampage of every bad guy with a gun ends with intervention by a good guy with a gun.  Period.  Full stop.  No exceptions.  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed themselves when the cops closed in at Columbine High School.  Syed Riswan Farook and Tashfeen Malik died in a hail of police gunfire in San Bernardino.  Stephen Paddock ended it all in Las Vegas as the police got close.  And Nikolas Cruz dropped his gun when the cops moved in.  He was able to sneak out but got caught shortly after.  Every bad guy with a gun was stopped by good guys with guns.

But in most schools, once a shooter gets past the front door, there are no more protective layers.  Translation: A school is a target-rich environment.  All students and faculty are targets.  The Israelis saw this and got busy.  They knew that the vast majority of terror attacks are stopped not by police, but by armed civilians.  So they started training teachers in firearms use.  Those teachers took out the bad guys in the two incidents since the Ma'alot Massacre.

When you have armed faculty in a school, all of a sudden, the bad guy isn't walking into a free fire zone, where he can shoot at will.  He's walking into a shooting gallery where he is the target.  On top of that, he doesn't know which of the staff might be ready to shoot, or where they might be coming from.  In short, only an idiot would try to shoot up a school with a trained staff of shooters.  And the less he knows about who's carrying, the more difficult it is for him.

Once that layer is in place, there's yet another one: the students.  Israel trains them on what to do in case a bad guy does get in.  That involves "active shooter drills."  Doors are barricaded so that bad guys can't get into classrooms.  Desks get turned into cover by turning them over.  A bad guy will have trouble shooting what he can't see.  Finally, the kids learn that if a bad guy does get in, there are enough of them to take him down.  He may get a couple, but the rest will defeat him.

Isn't that going to scare kids?  How awful!  But wouldn't you rather have a live scared child than a full casket?  Oh.  I forgot.  You aren't supposed to ask that question.  The left is the only side allowed to have a moral argument.

Let's get one thing clear.  The left is all about feelings.  Leftists are completely unconcerned with facts.  And two facts remain absolutely clear.  When a bad guy has a gun, the only thing that can ultimately save the life of a child is a good guy with a gun.  Further, bad guys will always get guns.  In the Israeli Arab communities that have zero legal guns, police estimate that there are half a million illegal guns.  Or visit Chicago, where there are almost no legal handguns, but gang-bangers use illegal handguns to make one person every day assume room temperature.  Until that changes, gun-banners have no place to stand.  We cannot allow emotional arguments to distract us from solutions that are proven to work.

It may seem heartless to deal with facts, but if we love our children, we must protect them.  Since the bad guys always find a way to have guns, we have to make certain that we have enough good guys with guns who can protect them from evil.

The real question isn't which single fix we can make.  For every complex question, there is a simple answer that is wrong.  We know the steps that have to be taken.  Schools have to be hardened so that they become safe places.  But that hardening works together with measures outside the schools to create a defense in depth.  More layers of defense create more safety for our children.

The real question is, do we love our children enough to let good guys with guns protect them from bad guys with guns?

I voted for Marco Rubio, but it was basically a vote against a horrible Democrat.  Now the junior senator from Florida has re-affirmed what I thought in the beginning: Liddle Marco is no leader.

When Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people at a South Florida high school, Senator Rubio declared, "If someone's decided, 'I'm going to commit this crime,' they'll find a way to get the gun to do it."  In other words, forget about stopping the bad guy.  The jig is up.  The fix is in.  Buy stock in casket-makers.  There will be blood in the hallways, and there isn't anything we can do about it.  But don't try to ban guns, because that won't work.

We can do better.  Senator Rubio is simply wrong. There are people who are totally determined to kill schoolkids, and we can defeat them, if we are willing to listen to the people who have learned how.

In 1974, Israel endured the Ma'alot Massacre at the hands of Islamic terrorists.  Twenty-five were killed and 68 more injured.  Since then, the Israelis have completely changed how they tackle school safety.  Since 1974, there have been two successful attacks, with fewer than ten dead.  In both cases, the bad guys were killed by armed teachers.  That's still too many dead, but it's fewer than we lost in Florida just this week.

Israel implemented a careful strategy of "Defense in Depth."  This is a military concept, and it's why we lost so many men taking Okinawa and Iwo Jima.  There the Japanese set up a whole lot of layers that we had to fight through.  Every added layer makes the problem worse for an attacker.  More layers equals more safety for the defender.

The outside layer of this onion is careful police work.  Every time a hint of pending trouble is identified, it is carefully investigated.  Israel's police agencies don't turn away information the way our FBI did.  This works not only for school safety.  Israel's national airline, El Al, has had decades without a terrorist incident, largely due to careful police work.  But this can't stop every attack.  And we don't expect it to.

Next comes the classic "See something?  Say something!" slogan.  Surprise!  It actually works.  A grandmother in Everett, Washington foiled a plot by her grandson the day before the Parkland massacre when the Snohomish County sheriff listened to her.  Multiple threats in New England were shut down the day after the Parkland shooting.  We just don't hear about many of these because nobody dies when a crime is prevented.

In the virtual reality ecosystem defined by social media, there are many, many opportunities to identify likely bad actors.  We don't often learn of how a specific tweet or Facebook post led to apprehension of a potential shooter, but it happens.  This third layer saves lives, and we haven't even gotten to the schoolyard.

Consider this.  If we knock off a few threats with protective layers away from the schoolyard, there aren't as many to deal with at the school.  That's where the next layer works.

Schools have been the softest of soft targets.  Most have multiple entry points that are guarded only by a door.  Most of those doors open to anyone.  Israel realized that this is an untenable situation.  Entry to schools in Israel is now limited, and there are armed guards at every entryway.  These guards are trained to look for suspicious signs and have largely prevented bad guys from getting in.  Their mere presence is enough to stop all but the most determined attackers.

By now we have at least four layers of protection, any one of which may be enough to protect our children from bad guys with guns.  All of these are preventive.  Now we move beyond prevention into active protection.  What do we do if a bad guy with a gun gets inside the school?

Let's remember one key fact.  The rampage of every bad guy with a gun ends with intervention by a good guy with a gun.  Period.  Full stop.  No exceptions.  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed themselves when the cops closed in at Columbine High School.  Syed Riswan Farook and Tashfeen Malik died in a hail of police gunfire in San Bernardino.  Stephen Paddock ended it all in Las Vegas as the police got close.  And Nikolas Cruz dropped his gun when the cops moved in.  He was able to sneak out but got caught shortly after.  Every bad guy with a gun was stopped by good guys with guns.

But in most schools, once a shooter gets past the front door, there are no more protective layers.  Translation: A school is a target-rich environment.  All students and faculty are targets.  The Israelis saw this and got busy.  They knew that the vast majority of terror attacks are stopped not by police, but by armed civilians.  So they started training teachers in firearms use.  Those teachers took out the bad guys in the two incidents since the Ma'alot Massacre.

When you have armed faculty in a school, all of a sudden, the bad guy isn't walking into a free fire zone, where he can shoot at will.  He's walking into a shooting gallery where he is the target.  On top of that, he doesn't know which of the staff might be ready to shoot, or where they might be coming from.  In short, only an idiot would try to shoot up a school with a trained staff of shooters.  And the less he knows about who's carrying, the more difficult it is for him.

Once that layer is in place, there's yet another one: the students.  Israel trains them on what to do in case a bad guy does get in.  That involves "active shooter drills."  Doors are barricaded so that bad guys can't get into classrooms.  Desks get turned into cover by turning them over.  A bad guy will have trouble shooting what he can't see.  Finally, the kids learn that if a bad guy does get in, there are enough of them to take him down.  He may get a couple, but the rest will defeat him.

Isn't that going to scare kids?  How awful!  But wouldn't you rather have a live scared child than a full casket?  Oh.  I forgot.  You aren't supposed to ask that question.  The left is the only side allowed to have a moral argument.

Let's get one thing clear.  The left is all about feelings.  Leftists are completely unconcerned with facts.  And two facts remain absolutely clear.  When a bad guy has a gun, the only thing that can ultimately save the life of a child is a good guy with a gun.  Further, bad guys will always get guns.  In the Israeli Arab communities that have zero legal guns, police estimate that there are half a million illegal guns.  Or visit Chicago, where there are almost no legal handguns, but gang-bangers use illegal handguns to make one person every day assume room temperature.  Until that changes, gun-banners have no place to stand.  We cannot allow emotional arguments to distract us from solutions that are proven to work.

It may seem heartless to deal with facts, but if we love our children, we must protect them.  Since the bad guys always find a way to have guns, we have to make certain that we have enough good guys with guns who can protect them from evil.

The real question isn't which single fix we can make.  For every complex question, there is a simple answer that is wrong.  We know the steps that have to be taken.  Schools have to be hardened so that they become safe places.  But that hardening works together with measures outside the schools to create a defense in depth.  More layers of defense create more safety for our children.

The real question is, do we love our children enough to let good guys with guns protect them from bad guys with guns?